If you're looking for a cheap soundbar that doesn't skimp on connectivity, the latest model from Denon could be a tantalizing option.
Costing £299 (about $380 / AU$530) Denon DHT-S416 is the brand's first soundbar with Google Chromecast built-in, allowing you to stream Hi-Res Audio over Wi-Fi from the likes of Amazon Music HD, Tidal, and Qobuz, as well as playing music from Spotify, YouTube Music, and more.
Chromecast integration means that you can also control the soundbar with your voice alone – as long as you have a Google Assistant speaker to hook it up to, that is.
As well as that, you can group the Denon DHT-S416 with other Chromecast-enabled devices to create a multi-room audio system, a little like how the far pricier Sonos Arc can be grouped with other Sonos speakers.
Small yet mighty
Ideal for smaller spaces, the Denon DHT-S416 is just 2.2 inches tall, and should fit comfortably underneath most TVs – it's also wall-mountable if space is really at a premium.
Inside the soundbar are a pair of 1.25 x 4.4-inch full-range oval driver and two 1-inch tweeters, which Denon says will ensure "the crisp yet rhythmical mid-range and treble" for which the company is known for.
Bass heads are covered here, too; the soundbar comes with a wireless subwoofer, which features a 5.25-inch driver in a ported enclosure "to extend bass to phenomenal low-end levels".
While you're not getting object-based immersive sound technologies like Dolby Atmos with this budget soundbar, Denon says that its "advanced acoustics and precise tuning" can "realistically simulate a multi-channel soundtrack played on a home theater surround sound system".
There are three different EQ presets to choose from – Move, Music, and Night – while three Dialogue Enhancer modes let you boost the vocals from TV soundtracks. For audio purists, there's also a Pure mode, which gets rid of the virtual surround sound processing and lets you hear the audio "in its purest form".
Connectivity comes courtesy of HDMI ARC, meaning you can control the DHT-S416 with your regular TV remote, though there is an optical connection if you prefer. For wireless streaming, you can also either hook it up to your Wi-Fi network or connect it to your phone via Bluetooth.
Hopefully the new soundbar can live up to the success of its sibling, the DHT-S216, when it becomes available to buy later this month. At $250 / £220 (about AU$340), this DTS Virtual:X-supporting bar impressed us with its value for money, though it didn't come with all the specs you might get from the best soundbars of 2020.
If you are looking for something a little more high spec – the incredible Sonos Arc comes to mind – then don't forget that the holiday shopping season is coming up soon.
We're expecting to see lots of soundbar deals over Black Friday 2020 in November – and before then, it's rumored that Amazon Prime Day will bring a host of discounts in October (though the exact date is till to be confirmed).